New Delhi: ESPN STAR Sports, a part of the Star network, on Thursday said it will launch a new channel next week as it looks to tap the growing audience for different sports in India.
The new channel, STAR Sports 2 which will go on air on March 11, will showcase live and non-live events across sporting categories like cricket, soccer, tennis, motor racing and golf, the company said in a statement.
Commenting on the new channel, STAR India Chief Operating Officer Sanjay Gupta said: "It allows us to broadcast a wide array of sports content across channels, and cater to multiple live events simultaneously. Our vision is to expand the sports viewership in the country."
The Star network has acquired some of the leading international sporting properties, including broadcast rights to the BCCI national and domestic cricket for six years; broadcast rights of Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A and English FA Cup and England international matches, he added.
The network also has rights for International Cricket Council, F1, Australian open tennis and Wimbledon, amongst others.
The company did not disclose the price of STAR Sports 2 but industry observers said it could have a premium pricing. As of now the company charges Rs 29 a month each for its Star Sports and ESPN channels and Rs 30 for Star Cricket.
"For a one year contract, ESPN STAR is asking between Rs 40 crore and Rs 50 crore for the new channel," an executive working with a leading direct to home operator said.
In the first month of its launch, STAR Sports 2 will cover tournaments like Serie A and La Liga soccer, Barclays Premier League action, Nascar racing and prime tennis from the Men's ATP Tour amongst others.
STAR Sports 2 will be the 6th channel to be launched by ESPN STAR Sports in India after STAR Sports, STAR Cricket, STAR Cricket HD, ESPN and ESPN HD.


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